Maus Banned In Russia For Its Cover


Paul Scollon

Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, Maus, has some very memorable cover art. It pictures a pair of mice — representing Jews — huddling beneath a cat-like caricature of Adolf Hitler. Behind the feline Hitler is a large swastika!

That last element has become a problem for Maus this spring. For Russian observances of Victory Day, the holiday commemorating the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany, Moscow has purged itself of swastikas. In an effort to comply, Russian bookstores cleared copies of Maus from its shelves.


The 1980 novel is the very antithesis of Nazi propaganda — it tells the story of Spiegelman’s father, a Holocaust survivor, by depicting Nazis as cats and Jews as mice — but Spiegelman tells NPR’s Robert Siegel that criticism of the book’s cover is not new. He says the purge of the book from Russian bookstores is “rather well-intentioned stupidity on many levels.”

Read more on the New York Times website.